James Newcome


Pensions and Employee Benefits

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James advises on all aspects of pensions law advice for a range of trustee and employer clients.


James advises both trustees and employers of UK defined benefit and defined contribution schemes on a range of issues including closure to future accrual, automatic enrolment, benefit redesign, scheme mergers, as well as liability management and restructuring of pension arrangements (buy-ins, buy-outs and bulk transfers to master trusts). James also has experience in drafting all forms of scheme documentation.

Recent Experience

  • Advising the trustees of a major UK property investment firm’s defined benefit scheme on the buy-in (£123m) of deferred and pensioner liabilities with a major insurer.
  • Advising the trustees of an internationally leading paints and coating manufacturer’s defined benefit scheme on their de-risking strategy for the scheme, including its journey plan towards securing buy-in of the scheme’s liabilities.
  • Advising one of the largest international video hosting services around salary sacrifice issues concerning its UK Group Personal Pension Plan.
  • Advising a former senior executive of an internationally leading IT services firm in relation to a historic unregistered employer financed retirement benefits scheme, including the pensions implications of the annual allowance and former lifetime allowance.
  • Advising the trustees on the bulk transfer of defined contribution benefits without consent to a master trust, including the preparation of documentation necessary to effect the transfer.
  • Advising the pension scheme trustees of a defined benefit arrangement for a UK PLC on the closure of the scheme to future accrual.
  • Advising a client in the UK pharmaceutical sector on reviewing and preparing a legal audit on a proposed pension offering for its UK employees.
  • Acting for the trustees in relation to the winding up of small schemes with deferred and pensioner liabilities remaining.
  • Advising a multinational waste management contractor in the company’s successful tender for waste contracts covering North West England. Reviewing and reporting on the pensions provisions in the draft contracts and assisting the company in the subsequent bulk transfer of pension liabilities to the applicable Local Government Pension Scheme Fund.
  • Advising the trustees of a pension scheme for an international printer manufacturer. Day to day support to the trustees including drafting scheme documentation, advising on member cases and providing advice on the move to a sole corporate trustee model.
  • Advising a range of limited and public limited companies on sales and acquisitions and the pension aspects involved. Drafting due diligence reports, requests for information, pensions warranties and indemnities.

Career History

James is a solicitor with experience in providing pensions legal advice for trustee and employer clients.

James qualified as a solicitor in 2015 and joined the team in 2022 having previously trained and gained post qualification experience at international firms. James initially studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield before completing his postgraduate legal studies at The College of Law (now the University of Law).


James has contributed to a variety of bulletins and insights at previous firms. He is a contributor to the team’s Pensions Compass publication and has written for industry articles, including Law360.

Additional Information

James volunteers for The Pensions Ombudsman as an adviser in their Early Resolution Team. James deals with a range of cases with the aim of resolving each informally before the need for any formal adjudication process.

James is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers (APL) and the APL Communications Sub-Committee.


PART 4 – Climate Update – The latest issues concerning pension scheme investment duties and decisions

The recent FMLC paper published on 6 February 2024 “Pension Fund Trustees and Fiduciary Duties – Decision-making in the context of Sustainability and the subject of Climate Change” throws aRead more


PART 3 – TPR’s General Code of Practice – Key highlights and action points for trustees

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has recently published the final version of the long awaited General Code of Practice (the General Code).  We recently published an article setting out the mainRead more


Part 3 – Climate change in the spotlight: Latest updates on the pensions green agenda

With the onset of Spring, the environmental social and governance (“ESG“) landscape for pension scheme sponsors and trustees continues to change. In this update, we have provided a brief roundupRead more


TPR’s Single Code of Practice – Worth the wait?

With 2023 now in full swing, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) intends to publish its long-awaited Single Code of Practice (the Code). It has been some time since TPR first publishedRead more


Part 3 – Climate change in the spotlight: Updates from the Pensions Regulator not to ignore the ESG elephant in the room and the latest on ClientEarth’s claim against Shell PLC

We report below on two key developments since our last Spring update, as environmental social and governance (“ESG”) developments remain firmly on pension trustees’ agendas, and the risk of globalRead more


How the abolition of the pensions lifetime allowance affects your estate planning

The changes to pension allowances announced in the 2023 Spring Budget have presented estate planning opportunities for members of registered private pension schemes. Most significantly, the government proposed to fullyRead more